Shehbaz Sharif sent to jail on judicial remand


LAHORE: The Accountability Court on Thursday rejected NAB’s plea for further extension in physical remand of Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif and sent him to jail on judicial remand.

The PML-N president is in National Accountability Bureau’s custody since October 05 in Ashiayna Housing Scandal.

When the hearing resumed today, the NAB requested the judge to grant extension but the court was not satisfied with the arguments presented by the anti-graft body.

Later, the PML-N leader was sent to jail on judicial remand.

A large number of PML-N workers were also present outside the court where the police baton charged them.

On Nov 29, Accountability Court Judge Syed Najamul Hassan extended the physical remand of younger Sharif till December 6 in the housing scam.

NAB officials produced Shahbaz before the court amid tight security and requested the judge to extend his physical remand for 15 days. The request was pleaded by NAB Prosecutor Waris Ali Janjua. The judge asked him for how long Shahbaz had been in the NAB custody. Janjua informed that the accused had been in the NAB custody for 54 days.

He said the NAB found some suspicious bank transactions of Shahbaz after which he was handed over a questionnaire on November 19 and he submitted his incomplete written reply on November 28. Shahbaz didn’t answer three or four questions, saying that he didn’t remember details and would answer those questions after going through some documents.

The NAB prosecutor tried to substantiate his plea for extension in Shahbaz’s physical remand by informing the court that the accused gave Rs 60 million to his son Hamza in 2011 and didn’t mention it in his tax returns. The prosecutor said that in 2011, Shahbaz’s income was Rs 25 million and he gave gifts of Rs 60 million. He informed the court that Shahbaz’s medical examination would be conducted at the Sheikh Zayed Hospital.

Shahbaz’s counsel Amjad Parvez confronted the NAB prosecutor, arguing that his client had been in the NAB custody for 54 days and the NAB found nothing against him despite passing of 11 months as the bureau had started investigations against his client in January. Arguing about the tax returns of Shahbaz, he said the tax returns were filed two years prior to Aashiana scam investigations.

So it was beyond the scope of investigations. Why the NAB was linking those tax returns with Aashiana investigations, he questioned. Would it be possible for the NAB to tell that they found any transaction linked to corruption? the counsel asked. He further asked if it was a crime to give gifts after selling properties in England. The NAB was demanding an illegal extension in the physical remand of his client, he said, adding that the medical tests of his client revealed that he was not well. He implored the court to constitute a medical board to examine the medical reports of his client. He concluded that the physical remand of Shahbaz was not necessary if the NAB wanted to carry on investigations.

The judge asked the NAB prosecutor since when the NAB had been investigating the case.

Janjua replied that the bureau had been investigating the case since December 2012.


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